I told you so!

Haven’t we heard this line a zillion times before? From anyone and everyone. Usually from older, experienced people to the younger ones but more irritatingly, from your peers, friends and cousins – everyone in the world seemed to have known the result of the endeavor you had undertaken, except one – You.

Before I undertake the noble task of pontificating on this topic, I would like to declare that the author himself has used (and abused) this line umpteen times before – however, he has mellowed down considerably in its usage – blame it on his age, experience, blah and blah.

How many times have people come up to you and said ‘I told you so’ – when something positive has happened to your life? In my experience, I can just count them on my fingers. Rarely, very rarely do you see your friend/relative/cousin/older guy (generically called ‘They’ in this blog) come up to you and say ‘Dude, I told you so’. Even if they did, you would feel irritated – the reason being, you were the cause for this positive result and the result did not happen because ‘They’ had told you before. Aaarrggghhh!!!

The above scenario is atleast slightly bright – because you can sink the ‘I told you so’ bitterness in the positive result. However, most of the time (when I mean most, it means >90%) They would come to you with this line when you are actually down in the dumps – negative result. ‘Arreyy baaba, I had told you before – you should learn to value my experience’, ‘Dude, I told you so right – from now on atleast, you start valuing my advice’, ‘I told you before only na, I don’t understand when will this younger generation get over its over-confidence’ and many many such lines. The max you can do in such scenarios is give them a dirty stare – the only way to get back (my way atleast) is to get to a positive result and shove that in their face.

Observation over an extended period of time would tell you that all the ‘I told you so’ scenarios were pessimistic scenarios – scenarios where the result of the said endeavor was negative. My question to these guys (and these guys includes myself) is ‘How worse can an endeavor get below the pessimistic level you are exhibiting and expecting?’. More often than not (and research has proved it) it would take 100 failures to make 1 successful invention. What is the big deal about being pessimistic? (I have personally seen even the best of so-called optimists utter ‘I told you so’ to poor chaps – so self-proclaimed optimists, please shut whatever).

As everyone and their grandma in the world knows, everyone has a vision of 20/20 in hindsight. It is very easy to say why Walmart was a success, why India won T20 world cup and how liberalization/globalization helped India become a big player on the global stage. Analysis, my dear friends is so easy. But imagine Sam Walton investing his entire life savings in his venture at that particular moment of time, the confidence of Manmohan singh (circumstances aside) to liberalize policies at that particular moment of time – if you have taken a decision which can make/mar your life, you can understand what ‘that particular moment of life’ means.

Decisions in life can be so tricky – at every stage in life. ‘Best foot forward’ has always been my philosophy. Some of the questions I ask myself before taking decisions ‘at that particular moment of time’ might range from trivial to the entirely esoteric. Listening to people, taking in the value of their experience in that particular field, mapping the same onto my analysis of the situation (ahh…explaining this would not be possible on the blog – summarily put, it would encompass probability, psychology, behavioral sciences etc etc etc :)) and arrive at a decision. When I arrive at a decision in this particular way, I am really not bothered about the outcome or ‘I told you so’s. Many of my off-the-cuff decisions have yielded great results and some of them were terrible outcomes. However, the joy I experience after I get to a decision after evaluation is something indescribable. And yes, some of the outcomes were positive and some negative – but look back, and I would have had no regrets at all.

What was the point of the above paragraph? It simply meant that if you are bothered about the outcome rather than the decision (and how it was taken) – you would be troubled by these ‘I told you so’s within yourself as well as plenty of ‘They’s. Get yourself to make decisions in a structured manner, least bothered about the results – you would notice a huge amount of difference. If people even then come up to you with ‘I told you so’s, tell them to ‘Go, Multiply’ [Totally private joke :)…not really difficult to decipher].

P.S –

1) People who know me well, know that I live by the philosophy of ‘Evaluate on how the decision was arrived at than be bothered by the outcome’ – what with I have irritated them umpteen number of times with this behavior. This post might have been a rambling out of this behavior – for all you know, I might be drunk now ;).

2) People who forward me mails about ‘If you had invested Rs. 10000 in Infosys shares in 1993, you would be a Crorepati now’ – please also note that ‘If you had invested in Arvind mills (the biggest and the hottest stock in 1993) in 1993, you would be owing around Rs.2000 today. Noone knew something called IT existed back in 1993. ‘At that particular moment of time’, if you had told me to invest in Infy rather than Arvind mills, I would have booked you for insanity (and couple it with Rs. 10000 to invest was a huge amount back in 1993 – probably three months of savings back then – three months saving in ‘what is that, Infisys, Infosys, whatever, shall we call the doctor to see if everything’s alright with you?’). Analysis and hindsight people, anyone can give’. Let me know if you have any stock recommendation for today – and probably 1 year later tell me ‘I told you so’. I would appreciate that more than the stupid forward.
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3 comments so far

  1. CresceNet on

    Oi, achei seu blog pelo google está bem interessante gostei desse post. Gostaria de falar sobre o CresceNet. O CresceNet é um provedor de internet discada que remunera seus usuários pelo tempo conectado. Exatamente isso que você leu, estão pagando para você conectar. O provedor paga 20 centavos por hora de conexão discada com ligação local para mais de 2100 cidades do Brasil. O CresceNet tem um acelerador de conexão, que deixa sua conexão até 10 vezes mais rápida. Quem utiliza banda larga pode lucrar também, basta se cadastrar no CresceNet e quando for dormir conectar por discada, é possível pagar a ADSL só com o dinheiro da discada. Nos horários de minuto único o gasto com telefone é mínimo e a remuneração do CresceNet generosa. Se você quiser linkar o Cresce.Net(www.provedorcrescenet.com) no seu blog eu ficaria agradecido, até mais e sucesso. (If he will be possible add the CresceNet(www.provedorcrescenet.com) in your blogroll I thankful, bye friend).

  2. lee on

    Lil preachy .. but sure will augment the thought process with a new dimension. I remember saying “Cheppanu kada raa” in an uninternationalized way :-). HAHAHA

  3. Kiran on

    @Lee: Preachy..hmm…didn’t I mention I was drunk 😛 :)! I think many of us had been subjected to that line of yours 🙂 – like
    1) Ee problem ki ee solution ani cheppanu kada ra..ante, naa payina namakkam ledaa?? 🙂 and even better
    2) PC ki voddani appude cheppanu kada raa!!!!! wat say on this 😉


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